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Date Lab: Candlelight, a cozy roof deck ... and his buddies

Sunday, January 3, 2010; W06

7 p.m., New Heights, Woodley Park

Michal: I started getting really nervous on my way to the restaurant. I got [there] and had to walk upstairs. My legs were shaking. As I was checking my coat, the staff was cracking jokes, so I started to relax.

Ted: I heard her before I saw her. She told the host she was there for The Post, and they started teasing her. She had a nice laugh and seemed friendly.

Michal: They walked me to the table. [Ted] was already seated. He was cute [and] had a big smile on his face, which made me feel comfortable right away.

Ted: I stood up, and we shook hands. She seemed to be in shape and was a cute little brunette.

Michal: There's so much to talk about, because you don't know each other. We talked for about 20 minutes before we even ordered drinks. It was the where are you from, what do you do stuff. We ordered a bottle of wine. We each got a starter course and shared. I like that. It's a sign that you're comfortable with someone.

Ted: We talked about where we were from and our families. We talked about travel. She's never been to Chicago, but she and her friends are plotting a trip. I used to live there, so I was giving her tips on where to get good deep-dish pizza.

Michal: He was telling me he's a Cubs fan. I was teasing him about that. [But] I'm a Jets fan, so I don't really have much to stand on. We talked about what it's like to root for teams that aren't the main teams here. You have to actually put effort into watching them.

Ted: Neither the Jets nor the Cubs are going to win anything anytime soon. We bonded over that. It was cool we had so much in common. We talked about Hanukkah and figuring out presents for our parents.

Michal: I had a gift in my bag for my parents. It was a rubber duck for their hot tub. He asked if it squeaked, and it didn't. He's an engineer, and he tried to make it squeak. It was funny and really cute.

Ted: The conversation never lagged. That's always a good sign. We decided we were too stuffed for dessert. We paid the check, and I asked her if she wanted to get a drink. She pointed out that the Reef has the heated panels on the roof, so we walked there. We took a few pictures outside; she was okay with being close. I'm not shy, but there's a difference between outgoing and flirting. It takes me a while to go from one to the other.

Michal: He asked me if I minded if some [of his] friends joined us. I figured if he was totally not into it, he would have ditched me earlier, but he wanted to extend the date. I wasn't worried, but I didn't know what to do with that. Did he want to bring his friends because he was afraid he'd run out of things to say? Or because he wanted them to observe the situation?

Ted: I didn't mean it like that at all. I haven't seen [my friend] in a while, and he was in from out of town. I was having a lot of fun with [Michal] and didn't want to cut it short.

Michal: It didn't bother me at all, but it shifted the dynamic of the date. We were up on the roof. There were candles and it was cozy, but I wasn't just talking to him. Thankfully his friends were cool. It was a guy and a girl. I couldn't tell if they were a couple. It didn't put a negative spin on the night. I didn't feel ignored at all. It was just a little confusing.

Ted: I didn't have to work the next day, and she did. She said she was just going to have a drink and then go. I was kind of bummed about that. By 11 or so, she said she had to go.

Michal: He walked me downstairs. He asked for my number, and we hugged goodbye. I would give the date a 4 [out of 5]. We both had fun. I just need more time to get to know him and see if there's chemistry.

Ted: I was into her. I'll probably call her this weekend. It felt like we were friends, but I'd like to get to know her better. I think there's potential for chemistry. I'd give the date at least a 4. I think we got along really well. I would definitely like to see where it goes from here.

-- Interviews by Kelly DiNardo

Update: So where did it go from there? To a good place, apparently. Ted and Michal went to dinner and a movie the next week and were planning a third date as of press time.

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